AGRIFISH: Member States call for a Fur Free Europe
A majority of Member States called today for a ban on fur farming and asked the European Commission (EC) to examine the possibility of a ban on the placement of farmed fur products on the European market, supporting the recently submitted Fur Free Europe ECI.
During today’s Agriculture and Fisheries Council (AGRIFISH), the Austrian, German and Netherlands delegations submitted an information note, supported by the Belgian, Cyprus, Czech, Estonian, Lithuanian, Luxembourg and Slovak delegations, calling for a ban on fur farming and to examine the possibility of introducing a ban on the sale and marketing of farmed fur products. The paper then received the support of seven other Member States during the meeting.
It’s the second time that the Council expressed its favour for an end to fur farming. Indeed back in 2021, the signatories of another information note called on the EC to take action to permanently end fur farming in the EU based on animal welfare, ethics as well as health risks for humans and animals.
The new call comes just after the formal submission of the successful Fur Free Europe ECI which collected more than 1.5 million validated signatures in less than 10 months.
19 Member States have already totally or partially banned or strictly regulated fur farming, sometimes with phasing-out periods. However, the lack of harmonisation in the EU undermines those very measures: fur farming can be “outsourced” with farms moving to other Member States, as a result, distorting the internal market. Moreover, it’s important not only to ban fur farming but the placement of farmed fur products on the European market, in order to ensure that fur produced under similarly cruel conditions in third countries is not sold within the EU.
The Member States called on the EC to uphold its commitment to pay “full regard to the welfare of animals” in line with Article 13 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). The note also refers to the EC’s commitment to end caged farming systems for other animals and how maintaining these systems for fur farms would be incongruous. They emphasised that under no conditions can the welfare of wild animals on fur farms be protected.
A number of scientists have also called on the European Commission to end such practices saying that the significant danger for humans and terrible suffering for animals requires urgent and proportionate action.
The support for a Fur Free Europe is yet again across the board: citizens, scientists and Member States spoke up against this cruel and unnecessary practice. With the constant decline in fur production since the last decade, followed by a sharp decrease due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the fur industry has had a low impact in the EU economy, and therefore an economic argument holds no ground. There is no way the EC can ignore such clear calls, now it’s the time to turn them into action and include the bans in the new Kept Animals Regulation.Reineke Hameleers, CEO, Eurogroup for Animals